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Forum Index : Solar : Do you make profit or get a nill bill from your solar FIT?

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Davo99
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Joined: 03/06/2019
Location: Australia
Posts: 765
Posted: 11:01am 21 Dec 2020
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Looks like they are going to be putting smart meters here soon and I don't believe I can refuse them ( but I'd like any info if you can in sydney area) so I am wondering if anyone here has a solar system and gets a very low Bill or gets credit.

I am hoping to get approval for 10 Kw feed in as I have 3 phase and then get a small legit system installed  and then hook all my existing system  of panels and inverters back in.  I may have to get a 10 KW inverter which I would prefer not to given I have plenty already and the cost of the things.  As far as I'm aware, the meter should detect power feedback from any circuit or phase and add them all together.

I have read of people that do make a profit on their power bills but i'd like to get some details if anyone here does as to their system size, their FIT and useage charges and if they know their generation and consumption figures so I can get a better idea of what I might be able to achieve.  

Best I can see is that one would have to be making 3-4X the power they are using to break even.  Might be able to do that 2 quarters a year, possibly over summer as well, definitely be behind in winter although I could take heating from electric to oil which would reduce winter load substantially.

The other possibility is to install a smallish battery of around 15 -20 Kwh.  Would need that for AC at night with other loads.

Anyone making the holy grail of a payment from a power co could let me know their numbers would be appreciated.
 
Warpspeed
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Joined: 09/08/2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 3755
Posted: 07:24pm 21 Dec 2020
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I have a smart meter, and three phase, have very low bills, and feed nothing back ever.
To the power utility I am just a small user with a very odd and erratic load profile.

Once you declare yourself as a solar user, you have to follow their rules, and the buggers keep moving the goal posts around.
The state government understands that the power utility performs a useful function and must always run with a sufficient margin to keep the shareholders happy and make political donations.
Cheers,  Tony.
 
Davo99
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Joined: 03/06/2019
Location: Australia
Posts: 765
Posted: 10:42pm 21 Dec 2020
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Can't argue with anything you said there Tony but you have one big advantage I don't, Gas. 2 Big advantages actually, you are a very smart and intelligent person and far more capable of self sufficiency using your skills and knowledge.  

You are certainly right about moving the goal posts.  I don't follow the rules now so it's really a matter of doing what the power cos do, playing the game to my best advantage.

I was doing some research last night.
Seems the meters  only monitor the incoming power to a property, none are direct connected to an inverter. That means that I can have multiple inverters on any phase or circuit and get the feedback amount. That's a good thing to start.  The other thing from what I could find is that the meters record Voltage but do not seem to record amperage amongst the many data-logs.

This means far as I can tell, I could pump any amount of power back down the line and they won't be able to tell if it's more than the 10Kw limit they impose here. That's another good thing. Of course with my recent mucking around I am convinced  I can get 10x inverter output in kwh over the course of a day maybe half the year so  100Kwh a day would cover a lot of my usage barring winter if I had to have a 10 Kw inverter installed for any reason. I can go to oil heating to severely reduce my winter heating consumption. Something I have thought of but taken the more convinent road of electric so far.

The last bonus in my favour is there are flat rates rather than TOU  and I can also get, atm at least, a feed in of slightly better than 50% of the usage cost. That will be a big factor in covering consumption costs.

-IF- all this manages to go my way, I think I may be able to break even or even make a profit over the course of the year. Depends of course how long I can get a FIT. Once I can't, it's battery time.

Not battery's that worry me, it's the inverter/ chargers that seem to be where the pitfalls are. Anything I do from here will cost me more than what I am enjoying now but I guess it's not the setup I have to look at but the long term savings.... Just like everyone one else has to.

I was looking things up last night, seems I do have a right to refuse a smart meter. They will say it needs replacing because it's not accurate but they also have to provide evidence of that.  I may have a feint hope there but I doubt it.  I did put them off at my last place when they wanted to install them.  I just wasn't ever available to " Let them in" when they wanted to come and once they moved on out of the area I didn't hear anything more about it.  See if I can be lucky twice around but I fancy my chances at winning lotto I don't enter are better than that.
Maybe I'll have to Build a couple more gates to put round that side of the house.

I also have to have notice they are going to be replacing them and I have not got that yet either.

Really makes me sick how all the power co's insult ones intelligence by making out these meters are for the customers benifit in saving them money. What crap! Sure they are going to spend hundreds of Millions changing all these things over so they end up making less revenue.
Fortunately my IQ is over 50 so can see the load of rubbish and insult to my little intelligence that is.
 
Godoh
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Joined: 26/09/2020
Location: Australia
Posts: 4
Posted: 04:00am 22 Dec 2020
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Hi Davo, with that many panels and as you say you have plenty of inverters it may be better to go off grid totally.

If you have a few inverters, you may be able to split your loads around the place and use one inverter for say Lighting, another for one power circuit then another for a different circuit.
Of course if you have three phase motors you will need either a three phase inverter to run them or a single to three phase converter.
I had grid power when I bought my place but got the lines removed and cut the poles down. We had two poles on our property so they are gone now.
We get plenty of wind here so blackouts are pretty common for grid users.
Of course it depends on power usage.
Having to generate three times what you use in order to break even seems pretty off to me.
I guess the grid owners don't want to be cut out of their own business.
Pete
 
Revlac

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Joined: 31/12/2016
Location: Australia
Posts: 442
Posted: 05:10am 22 Dec 2020
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  Quote  I had grid power when I bought my place but got the lines removed and cut the poles down. We had two poles on our property so they are gone now.

Did the the exact same thing, Amazed at how fast the chainsaw went through the power poll, was very satisfying.
Cheers Aaron
Off The Grid
 
Warpspeed
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Joined: 09/08/2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 3755
Posted: 06:58am 22 Dec 2020
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  Davo99 said  

Really makes me sick how all the power co's insult ones intelligence by making out these meters are for the customers benifit in saving them money. What crap! Sure they are going to spend hundreds of Millions changing all these things over so they end up making less revenue.

The advantage for them is that they don't have to employ meter readers to plod around from house to house every three months. A huge wage saving.

Second advantage is they can connect or disconnect you at the stroke of a keyboard.

Forget to pay your bill ? they just switch off your smart meter via the data link.  No need to send someone around in a vehicle to pull your main fuse.
Then they make a few more key strokes, and slug you for a re connection fee.

Its a wonderful way to run a power utility.
Only needs a very few computer nerds, not hundreds of meter readers that belong to a union.
Cheers,  Tony.
 
Clockmanfr

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Joined: 23/10/2015
Location: France
Posts: 344
Posted: 02:51pm 22 Dec 2020
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Warpspeed & Davo99,

I posted Warpspeed's post and Davo99 comments on Facecloth France as is.

Well that got me banned from French Facecloth and the post removed.

It now turns out that, ..........

France Government and the utilities company's will charge each customer for the new SMART METER and its install costs.

BUT EVEN WORSE, THEY ARE MAKING IT MANDORTARY,  and therefore ILLIGAL NOT TO HAVE A SMART METER,  interesting how the hell they are going to enforce that.?

Has the World gone MAD ?
Everything is possible, just give me time.

3 HughP's 3.7m Wind T's (12 years). 5kW PV on 3 Trackers, (8 yrs). 9kW PV AC coupled SH GTI's. OzInverter created Grid. 1300ah 48v.
 
noneyabussiness
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Joined: 31/07/2017
Location: Australia
Posts: 334
Posted: 06:12pm 22 Dec 2020
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But clockman don't you know,  its for our own good...
I think it works !!
 
Davo99
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Joined: 03/06/2019
Location: Australia
Posts: 765
Posted: 10:16pm 22 Dec 2020
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  Godoh said  Hi Davo, with that many panels and as you say you have plenty of inverters it may be better to go off grid totally.


Unfortunately my inverters are all grid tie so far as I know and with my severely limited abilities in electronics, they won't be any good.  If there was a devise that set up the frequency, voltage and other parameters they look at to sync up to, I'd be very interested to find them. I know you can sync off battery inverters and generators but that's under very specific circumstances which would not be practical for everyday use.

I might have to start looking at the Hybrid PIP inverters.

Panels will certainly not be a problem. I have 19Kw of new panels leaning up against the shed now to put up.  With the 6.2 kw I put on the house 6 Months ago and about another 6.7 on the shed, I should be fine but if not, there is still loads of room on the other half of the house to go.

I have a load of Diesel engines in the shed as well as some Big 3 phase Motors I think could be used as IMAG's to run battery chargers. I would really love to find  and affordable, available 3 Phase 10-15Kw 2 bearing gen head though.


  Quote  If you have a few inverters, you may be able to split your loads around the place and use one inverter for say Lighting, another for one power circuit then another for a different circuit.


Yes, that would definitely be the way to go but I'll  need to get the proper inverters for it.


  Quote  Of course if you have three phase motors you will need either a three phase inverter to run them or a single to three phase converter.


Been looking at replacing the 3 phase AC (Which is the Only 3 phase load)  with a single phase unit. I have a good mate that is a significant player in the AC game.  He'll get the unit for me for cost and put it in for a good feed and plenty of  non alcoholic refreshment.  He told me it's still going to be a 7K+ exercise to do it. Said he's happy to help but he recommended getting all I could out of what I have before spending that sort of money.

I have been looking at converters and it's something I have been meaning to ask here.  I'm not even sure what size I'd need and neither is mate as he does not work with this sort of thing and the ratings on the machine I have are unclear if they are per phase or total.

  Quote  
Having to generate three times what you use in order to break even seems pretty off to me.
I guess the grid owners don't want to be cut out of their own business.
Pete


Yep, Just like Tony says, They are there to make a profit for the shareholders, Multi Million dollar Bonuses for the directors ( Origin whom I am with pays their CEO $4.5M a year PLUS bonuses) and paying the gubbermint to allow them to get away with things no small business could.

I am not against a company making a profit,  they have to, but the size of the profits they make out of what is effectively an essential service Monopoly while insulting peoples intelligence with endless lies ( we are trying to make power prices cheaper, we care for the environment, smart meters save you money ...yada, yada, yada x1000) that really ticks me off as well as doing every single thing they can to game the system and keep changing rules and regs to feather their own greedy nest.
 
Davo99
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Joined: 03/06/2019
Location: Australia
Posts: 765
Posted: 10:25pm 22 Dec 2020
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  Clockmanfr said  Warpspeed & Davo99,

I posted Warpspeed's post and Davo99 comments on Facecloth France as is.

Well that got me banned from French Facecloth and the post removed.


Wow! Seems Tony and I are such anarchists and threats to society.
Actualy not that ironic, Gubbermints and Big business HATE people that can think for themselves and don't believe everything they read on facewaste and " Current affairs" Tv brainwashing shows.

  Quote  

Has the World gone MAD ?


Surely a smart man like yourself had already worked that out?
Not just mad, completely insane! Ongoing events this year prove that beyond shadow of a doubt.  People always think things are going nuts, but this year lunacy has been on steroids and a lot of them.

I can only see it getting even worse from here.

I made a prediction early in the year that with what had gone on people would wake up, take a step back and do away with the cupcake mentality and grow some balls and get back to concentrating on what really mattered.

This is why I'm not a gambling man. I have rarely been more wrong about anything and had I put any money on that I'd be living on the street now.
Instead of the world waking up to itself, it just lost it's mind completely.

I fear for what is going to have to happen and the rock bottom we are going to have to hit before things do come back to sanity.
 
noneyabussiness
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Joined: 31/07/2017
Location: Australia
Posts: 334
Posted: 04:31am 23 Dec 2020
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My posting seems to be working now, here's hoping...

Davo, have a chat to Vlad at dyne industries in Melbourne,  he may be able to wind a transformer that will convert 240v " single phase " to 415v " three phase " , depends on how much it'll cost and your house wiring capacity it may be the cheaper option... so you can drop / change your 3 phase side... just a thought..

Just a ballpark figure, I had a 10kw 32v to 240v transformer wound by him and including shipping it was about $3.5k ... and I'm in north Queensland...
I think it works !!
 
Davo99
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Joined: 03/06/2019
Location: Australia
Posts: 765
Posted: 04:56am 23 Dec 2020
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Thanks for that! I looked them up and bookmarked them so I'll get on to them in the new year. The ac is the only 3 phase load and the only one on the 3rd phase which has an electronic meter I can't backfeed.  It registers feed anyway as a useage.

I did put the 3rd phase on a small inverter with it's own array. The inverter connects when that phase of the compressor is energised. Takes about 60 Sec for the inverter to initialise but it supplies about 90% of the requirements on a sunny day. It's on a DPDT relay so the rest of the time the power is feeding back to another phase which the evaporator fan motor is on which uses nearly the same as that leg of the compressor.

I have seen there are some converters that will take 2 Phases and make 3 as well as the single to 3 Phase.  For me the 2 to 1 would be better now but if I got one the single to 3 would be the better option.

Machine is getting old though. Some of the condensor fan Relays went last year and there were no boards available. My AC mate spotted the next door neighbours who were on another caravan trip AC was the same.
If it were my old neighbour, the whole unit would have been swapped for mine and probably not even reconnected for them so they knew how did it but not be able to prove it just to really rub it in. I like these neighbours so I managed to find the same relays ( at a price) and replaced them on the board. That was the easy part, reconnecting the 30 or so wires coming off the board was the trick. You can never take too many photos from too many angles before you pull them apart and luckily, although I wished I had taken more, I took enough to get it back together without and Magic smoke escaping.
Thing has been running fine since.

Thank you again for the heads up!
 
noneyabussiness
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Joined: 31/07/2017
Location: Australia
Posts: 334
Posted: 07:51am 23 Dec 2020
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Maybe have a chat to him, he may be able to wind one with multiple taps... transformers are bi-directional so if wound to spec its up to you which direction you want it to supply... 3 phase to single, or vise versa...
I think it works !!
 
Warpspeed
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Joined: 09/08/2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 3755
Posted: 08:49pm 23 Dec 2020
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You cannot generate three phases from single phase with just a transformer.

Its possible to spread the load of a very heavy single phase load across three phases, but not all the phases will be equally loaded.
Its also possible to generate two phases (90 degrees) from three phases (120 degrees)with a bit more complexity.

If you really want to know, its called a "Scott T transformer" and there are quite a few variations of the same basic idea.
Cheers,  Tony.
 
mab1
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Joined: 10/02/2015
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 48
Posted: 10:13pm 23 Dec 2020
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Did you say you had a/some 3phase motors lying around? With some caps it's possible to make a rotary phase convertor, although i think you may still need a 230/400 single phase tranny to get 400v 3phase.

Oh, and you need to know what power or kva you ac is.

I seem to remember Oz staring a 10hp rotary phase convertor with his PJ and later his ozinverter
 
Haxby

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Joined: 07/07/2008
Location: Australia
Posts: 226
Posted: 10:28pm 23 Dec 2020
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Warpspeed: not to hijack the thread, but since 3 phase transformers are being discussed...... I've often wondered why 3 phase transformers are magnetically coupled between phases. Is it just to conserve core material and aid in manufacture?





I mean, you could have 3 separate transformers doing the same thing right?

Why doesn't the magnetic field of one energised phase induce a current in the other 2 phases? I would have thought that would be a big problem. Obviously it isn't in practice, so I must be missing something.
 
Warpspeed
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Posted: 11:42pm 23 Dec 2020
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you are quite right.
Three separate transformers would require a lot more core material, more cost and greater bulk.

All three phases have the primaries driven, so the flux finds its own way around the core.
Cheers,  Tony.
 
noneyabussiness
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Posted: 11:31pm 24 Dec 2020
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Ok ill shrink back into the hole i came from... my understanding of transformers sucks... I forgot about the " phase " thing, just was thinking voltage..
I think it works !!
 
Davo99
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Posted: 11:19am 25 Dec 2020
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I hadn't thought about a rotary Converter. Seems a rather Crude solution but none the less, the way it was done once. I'd have to look up how to match the phase order or things might get ugly.

I wonder if having a heavy Pulley on the thing or a flywheel would be needed to give the thing extra reactive power for when the compressor does Kick in?
Pretty Sure the 5KW motor I have won't cover the 8.5 Amps I Need and the 12 KW would be overkill. I don't think I'd need any extra weight on the big motor, it's over 100Kg on it's own.

I haven't done much with these, how would it have to be hooked up?  Would I leave the 3rd phase mains connected and would that leg of the induction motor power it ( mainly) or would I have to run the 3rd leg only off the motor?

If I could leave it connected that would fix problem of having to switch the motor on before starting the AC unit but if connected, the start impulse load would be huge when they both kicked in and probably blow the snot out of whatever breakers I put in every time.

One problem solved, more to think about.  :0)
 
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